Porsche Carrera S – A Killer GT3 Inspired Cabriolet
After shooting Ed’s 914, he hinted that it wasn’t the only Porsche in the garage. Before he owned that hugger orange 914 autocross car, he had this 2005 Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet. From a distance, it looks mostly factory, but there are aggressive subtleties that set it apart.
Once you take note of the parts that have been replaced, you’ll understand why it does have such a polished Porsche factory look. Most of the upgraded parts are OEM Porsche pieces like the GT3 swapped wheels.
When you look at the price difference between the Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet and the GT3 this build starts to make even more sense. Ed found plenty of guys to source parts from who opted for the significantly more expensive model and ended up replacing a handful of parts anyway.
One of the factory upgrades Ed poached from a GT3 owner is the wheel setup. The larger, arguably nicer looking wheels give the car an edge while maintaining the clean Porsche lines. Wrapped in RE71-R compound tires coupled with the brakes the car shipped with hiding deeper in the wheel wells, the setup has plenty of grip and stopping power at the track.
Backing up the rubber we have Bilstein PSS9 coilovers with the Porsche Active Suspension Management disabled. While the PASM may step in and help an inexperienced driver on a windy back road, Ed wanted a more consistent and true feel through the suspension and chassis.
RSS rear dogbones and transmission mounts help stiffen things up and provide some adjustability so the owner can dial in the responsiveness of the car. Also borrowed from a GT3 are the lower control arms which replace the less impressive versions that shipped with the S originally.
To further improve the feel when driving, a short throw shifter and a Derlin Function First shift knob have found their way into the interior. There’s also a fire extinguisher right near the passenger seat for a worst-case scenario at the track.
A GT3 throttle body helps liven things up a bit, along with an IPD plenum and ECU flash to end up with 380 horsepower out of the 3.8L flat six. Other GT3 bits include the gorgeous front end which really changes the look of the whole car, especially coupled with those GT3 wheels. The more time we spent with this thing, the more we enjoyed it.
We have never been one for expensive factory options and completely understand the philosophy of this build. This is a car that can do a bit of everything. Ed drives it to work, he takes it to the track, he can take the top down and cruise around with his wife and daughter on the weekend.
You get the performance of a high-end Porsche and all of the class that goes with it. But instead of paying the high price tag to have a handful of blokes in a factory do the upgrades, Ed has customized the car how he saw fit. Cruising over the Bay Bridge in the nice, warm California sunset is just one of the many small things to enjoy behind the wheel of this killer Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet.